Friday, November 25, 2011

That's how it goes around here

Aidan's barking like a seal again, and Ashley is running a 103 fever. It's coming around again, whatever it is. Welcome to my life.

My days have been full of things I never thought I'd have to do, and I'm feeling perpetually overwhelmed.

Poor me.

Boo freaking hoo, right?

At least there is beer and there are margaritas.

Through circumstances I'm still not ready to disclose here, I realized again that my Dad's birthday is in a few days. Was in a few days.

I hate semantics that way.

I miss him something fierce right now, but then again I always have this time of year, even long before he was gone.

For as long as I've been around, as for sure before then too, this weekend of Thanksgiving also always meant that it was his birthday.  The two so historically intertwined that at least in my head and heart they will never be separate.

Thanksgiving will always be his that way.

After we moved away, Thanksgiving, and his birthday by default, usually meant that I'd spend half my days wishing I hadn't moved. The other half would be spent playing phone tag with him.

It was that way every year except the one that AJ was born. That year, we scheduled his baptism on this weekend on purpose. I'd get the baptism and Thanksgiving and his birthday and him all here. For once. Even my brother and sister in law made the trip with him and mom.  I'll always have that night.

Then, the year after that and only two years ago now, we were there. In a hurry.  To celebrate a holiday with the man who we knew wouldn't see many more. The day before Thanksgiving, he'd started chemotherapy. Thanksgiving night he was too sick to eat. His birthday was no different, though he tried to eat the cherry cheesecake he loved every year before that.

Last year, we were home here. I'd just as well forget last year. He was there and we were here and there are so many other things about that day that I'd just as well force out of my memory forever.

And here we are, now.

This year, Thanksgiving was really not the least of my worries. I could have cared less about turkeys and pie and tradition. I had other things wholly distracting me from the holiday itself. Which is probably better anyhow. And then today, I was reminded of what lies before us in a few days. The inevitable day that falls sometime this weekend.

His birthday.

The first one he won't be here for.

I got in the car alone this afternoon, needing to run some errands.

As I turned the key in the ignition, this song started on the radio. If I die young, by The Band Perry. Dad loved country music, but he started not being able to listen to it after songs like this hit heavy rotation. I hate music sometimes even though I love it all the rest.
Just like that, I was crying. No warning sometimes, that's how it goes around here.

I looked up at the gorgeous sky, the storm moving over the mountains, the sun heavy in the horizon. Just above, a heart shaped cloud.

Hasn't happened in a while, but I know he's out there somewhere still. Just making sure his baby is okay.

Happy Birthday, Daddy. I love you.


  1. Thinking of you. So sorry things are rough again. Praying it gets better. On a more positive note, I love that family picture.

  2. Kelly, you write very well, you articulate your feelings so that others who haven't experienced your pain(s) can come close to understanding them. I'm sure you have heard all the cliche's - some are true and some aren't. I have lost the people closest to me now in what I believe are the three basic ways... I lost my best friend to cancer (she was 41), I lost my husband in a very tragic and unexpected SUDDEN way, and I lost my grandma in the best way possible, at the age of 91 she was still living in her home and very healthy, just passed in her chair in front of the TV with a book in her lap... so as you can see I have experience (sigh) what I can tell you is everyone is different, everyone handles, accepts and processes different.
    "Time heals all" - WRONG, "Time" does not heal... not on it's own; it's what you do IN that time that helps the healing.
    "The first of everything is the worst" - TRUE, the first Monday, the first birthday missed, the first & the first anniversary of their death... these are always very very hard (I kept Xanax close). BUT they do get easier and often, without even realizing is instead of feeling constant dread on these days, you are spending more time smiling at the memories of that person on those days over the years, and talking about them with laughter in your heart and on your lips. ~Vanessa


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